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Teachers Tackle Racial Bias: ‘We’re Tired of Waiting’

Teacher Pam Wilson is often assigned the “hard children” at Frank Wagner Elementary School in Monroe. By that, administrators mean students who are learning English, or qualify for special-education services, or whose families have little money. When she asks why they are placed in her class, she’s told she’s “good with them.”

“But everyone should be good with them,” she said during a weeklong training of more than 40 educators, the first of its kind sponsored by the state’s largest teachers union.

The program, run in collaboration with the University of Washington and funded with a three-year grant from the National Education Association, is the outgrowth of meetings with parents and a survey of 11,000 Washington teachers and other public-school employees.